"Good morning, everyone, my name is Philip Macartney, I am the new VP of Sales at FlowForma, and when I say new, I mean brand new, this is Day 7….”. My introduction to the assembled throng at our FlowForma Construction Breakfast Briefing in NYC was met with intrigued looks from our guests. To make sure I got the point across I added, “So if you ask me any questions about either your challenges or the FlowForma Platform, that blank look you will receive is not jet lag...”. I confidently handed over to our Product Strategist, Paul Stone, to take everyone through the latest survey results on Digitization in the Construction Industry, secure in the knowledge that everyone in the room was in good hands with one of our team’s most knowledgeable digitization experts.
The Need for Digitization in Construction
After a week in New York with my team, speaking to customers, listening to their challenges, working with new customers, and generally immersing myself in the construction sector, I have moved my knowledge up a good few notches. I am still only in my new role for less than a month, but I can already see the vast transformation underway in Digital Construction and why we are seeing such concerted engagement from this sector specifically.
Our Breakfast Briefing was a great success. Set in the Irish Consulate, the nearby construction and renovation of some of New York’s skyline provided a fitting backdrop to both our presentation and the fireside chat with one of our clients, about the challenges currently facing the construction industry around the digitization of their day-to-day work. The facts and figures from our recent construction survey report paint a stark picture of a construction sector in dire need of digitization. When combined with the fresh impetus provided by the upcoming investment in construction and infrastructure from the US government, I started to see why there was an urgency from most of our guests to get moving on this journey.
One man who has already started the journey was our guest speaker Jimmy Monahan of Sullivan Engineering. Our CEO Olivia Bushe did her best impression of a daytime chat show host as she interviewed Jimmy about some of his successes and challenges in the digitization of Sullivan Engineering. Jimmy’s insights into the day-to-day challenges of his business and how FlowForma Process Automation has helped them overcome those challenges were fascinating. He has done a fantastic job in immersing his organization in No Code Business Process Management and is reaping the rewards now for his commitment to empowering his business to make its own changes. When questioned by our audience, you could tell Jimmy very much knows his stuff. Lots of bobbing heads and knowing looks. Not from me, I was still in learning mode!
We left the room with full bellies and even fuller minds. The breakfast briefing was a huge success and we were confident we now have even more opportunities to help even more people in the US construction sector achieve their goals to digitize their businesses.
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
The breakfast briefing was only a part of our trip though, we already have a well-established client base in North America and so we took the opportunity to spend time with clients and partners and also attend some conferences (using every mode of transport) to further educate ourselves on some of the challenges facing our clients.
Sunday – Arrival at JFK. We assumed that by arriving on a Sunday the traffic would be light. We were wrong. The city truly never sleeps.
Monday – A trip to our client Weeks Marine in New Jersey. What a phenomenal company, the size, and scale of what they do is staggering. Dinner was a Japanese BBQ. Now, I am a big guy and relatively well known for being able to polish off a steak or two, but I felt I had to give a tip of the hat to this place as it produced a meal fit for ten let alone the three of us. Stuffed and jet-lagged.
Tuesday – Breakfast Briefing. In the evening we took our partners in Enterprise Ireland out for dinner. You know you are in New York when a table full of Irish people all go out for dinner and their waitress is from Tipperary.
Wednesday – Various conferences and meetings – There is a great joy in watching people “get” what it is that you do. A client today is now looking to expand their FlowForma operation significantly after clearly getting the scope of how we can help their whole business.
Thursday – Building Energy and Sustainability Event – Very interesting content here and great for a complete construction novice like myself to see the complexity of this sector. In more important news, the Disney Store is closed – this makes getting a present for my 4-year-old girl infinitely more challenging.
Friday – ENR Infrastructure Forum – A fantastic way to end our trip. A great event on the shores of the Hudson River. Our golden girl Rebecca McManus had to be dragged from the venue as she spoke to so many construction firms there. Back to Dublin, we go.
Digital Construction is a No-Brainer
And so, we flew home. I sat on the plane contemplating my second week with FlowForma. I had a double seat all to myself, so I could genuinely ruminate on this rather than have to spend my time apologizing for my elbow space or listening to snoring. It had been a whirlwind of a week but one in which I really started to get a solid grip on the FlowForma mission, the FlowForma WHY moment as Simon Sinek would put it. When you listen to the genuine pain points of experts within an industry you don’t really know that well like Construction, it is very interesting to see how these challenges manifest themselves in everyday activities. You see clearly how many lives are made infinitely worse by slow, paper-driven laborious (but necessary) processes. You get a genuine understanding of the amount of time and money wasted by industries that have yet to embrace digital change in their business processes. Then when you see them understand how FlowForma empowers them to take control of these problems, work with their other systems, and bettering their current setup, you start to really see the FlowForma solution come to life.
Our mission is about the democratization of automated business processes. That’s why we have been built with NO Code from the ground up. We are a ubiquitous clean palette of any and all process you could ever dream up. While some platforms have been created specifically for certain sectors and by that fact, they seem to do everything – they lack the malleability of FlowForma. They are brittle and find it difficult to move with the complex and ever-changing rules and regulations in a sector like construction. Our trip was a great accelerator for me, early in my tenure. A big thank you to our team, our clients, our partners, and everyone I got to meet in New York for a great time and a great learning experience for me. I’ll be back.